What is Mine
~ Five ~

There was no point in trying to help the woman any further, Jack admitted after feeling for a pulse and finding none. She had suffered some fatal type of internal injury. Jack could think of nothing else that accounted for the bright red blood that covered her clothing despite the absence of any wounds.

An absence of wounds could not be ascribed to the man on the seat beside the dead woman. He was alive, though. His breathing was barely discernible but steady. A cursory glance at the comatose man showed Jack numerous injuries, each of which was serious enough in its own right. The doctor shook his head. It was the man's lack of a seatbelt that led to his multiple injuries. How ironic it would be that he might survive while his companion, properly belted, did not.

The wind shifted, blowing the powerful aroma of leaking gasoline to Jack's nostrils. He looked toward both ends of the quiet road and realized with resignation that the odds were not great that another vehicle would come along to provide him additional help.

It went against all his medical training to do so, but Jack carefully pulled the broken and bloodied man through the car's shattered windshield. At that point, the imminent danger the man was in far outweighed any risk of spinal trauma induced by moving him unsecured. It was a testament to just how deeply unconscious the man was. Through all Jack's movements, he did not utter a single whimper.

With the victim a reasonably safe distance away from the wreckage, Jack returned to the car for the woman's body. The smell of gasoline was stronger than before. Nervously, the doctor tugged at the crumpled door and cursed when it would not open. As much as he wanted to be a humanitarian and preserve the woman's corpse for her family's sake, he would not do so at the risk of losing his own life.

A shift of movement on the floor before the back seat distracted Jack from his futile tugs on the other doors. He peered down into the car and through the diffused light of his car's headlights saw a dark-haired toddler staring in wide-eyed shock at him. The little boy was still strapped into his car seat and lay awkwardly on his side.

Jack heard a sound not unlike an electrical short. The potential for disaster had just magnified beyond measure. With desperate strength, the doctor put all his weight into pulling open the back door just wide enough to drag the overturned child seat through.

The panicked doctor did not bother trying to release the little boy, but instead ran awkwardly away from the wreckage with the car seat in his arms. Jack stumbled to a stop beside the comatose man just as the crumpled vehicle exploded and burst into flames.

It was a terrible sound that finally started the toddler to crying.